Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

More than 600 Soldiers Surrounded the Cartel Boss "Tony Tormenta"

Saturday, November 6, 2010 |


A total of 660 members of the Navy of Mexico participated in the operation yesterday which resulted in the death of Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillén, alias "Tony Tormenta", a high ranking kingpin of the Gulf Drug Cartel.

The Secretary of the Navy said in a statement that a total of 660 military marines were deployed in the operation, and of these, 150 were in the first circle of action, supported by three helicopters and 17 armored vehicles.

In the gunfight four gunmen were killed that allegedly belonged to the inner circle of protection to "Tony Tormenta." Also killed were three marines while four others were wounded, said the Navy said in a statement.

A source explained that Mexican authorities had been following the trail of "Tony Tormenta" for the last six months and on Friday they received his location in a downtown neighborhood of Matamoros, a city bordering the United States, but when the first group of marines arrived, they were met with automatic gunfire and grenades.

This conflict unleashed a fierce gun battle which lasted for more than two hours, until the capo "Tony Tormenta", a native of Matamoros and at the age 48, finally fell.

Friday's daylong gunfights throughout Matamoros between cartel hit men and Mexican soldiers and marines plunged the city into chaos and panic, witnesses said, as armed men plowed through streets on the backs of pickup trucks.

Residents rushed in helter-skelter traffic to get home; many remained trapped in their offices. Cellphone service went down, further stoking fears as bursts of high-caliber weaponry could be heard for hours. International bridges into Texas were closed for a time.

Most of the fighting barely made a ripple in national news here in Mexico because local reporters in Tamaulipas, out of fear or corruption, have been trained to ignore cartel activities. Only when a journalist for a Matamoros newspaper was killed in the gun battle did the news begin to trickle out.

A source said that "Tony Tormenta" was one of the leaders to take control of the Gulf cartel in 2003, which has its influence on the east coast of Mexico, after his brother, Osiel Cardenas Guillen was arrested in Mexico and extradited to the United States.

The Mexican government considers the death of the Gulf cartel kingpin as a "significant" step in dismantling organized criminal groups "that have caused a lot of suffering to the people of our country," said the national security spokesman, Alejandro Poire.

In a press release read to the media, Poire congratulated the members of the Armed Forces who participated in the operation and expressed his deep condolences over the death of the soldiers "killed in the line of duty."

The Gulf cartel and the Zetas, once allies, have been disputing for the last couple of years in a bloody war for control of drug trafficking turf, which has left a bloodbath in its aftermath.

So far this year more than 10,000 people have been killed related to organized crime.

Profile
Tony Tormenta began his criminal career as a drug dealer in the 80s and quickly established himself as a Gulf Cartel leader after the arrest of his brother Osiel on March 14, 2003.

Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen, also known as "Tony Tormenta," or "TT" was killed on November 5, 2010 after a clash with the Mexican army in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. Tony Tormenta was one of the leaders of the criminal organization of the Gulf Cartel, was brother of Osiel Cardenas, and a business partner Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, alias "El Coss."

Cardenas Guillen is responsible for moving tons of marijuana and cocaine from Mexico to the United States and is one of Mexico's most wanted fugitives by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), who has offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest.

The Gulf Cartel was founded in the 30's when capos were looking to smuggle whiskey and other illegal goods to the United States that eventually would grow significantly in the 70's under the leadership of Juan Garcia Abrego. Following the arrest of Abrego in 1996, Oscar Malherbe de León took control of the organization but was arrested shortly after, leaving Osiel Cardenas Guillen in control of the organization, who would eventually be arrested in 2003. The Gulf Cartel controls the majority of exports of cocaine and marijuana through the frontier town of Matamoros.

The Gulf cartel for many years was Mexico's most powerful trafficking organization, second only to the older Sinaloa cartel, based in the Pacific state of the same name. The Gulf group has held sway over all of the large state of Tamaulipas in northeastern Mexico that borders Texas and provides important smuggling routes into the U.S. It controls police and politicians, buys off businessmen and intimidates journalists.

The Gulf cartel beefed up its firepower about a decade ago by recruiting and building the Zetas paramilitary force, which was initially the organization's armed wing. This year, however, the Zetas, like Frankenstein, turned on their masters, broke away to form their own trafficking racket and declared bitter war on Cardenas and his cohorts.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the fight between the Gulf cartel and the Zetas, with the latter group, an especially ruthless band, steadily gaining territory.

Mexican and U.S. authorities had been stepping up the pressure to capture Cardenas, who is said to have lived relatively openly in Matamoros. His wife lives in Houston, according to Mexican government documents.

"He was considered a very dangerous figure … very bloodthirsty," Ricardo Ravelo, author of several books on Mexican drug trafficking, said Friday night in a radio interview.

He was a stone-hearted thug, Ravelo said, who tortured and beheaded victims and didn't hesitate to kill. He had fully half of the Tamaulipas police force at his service and providing protection, Ravelo added.

What is Next?
The death of Cardenas will be seen as an important victory for beleaguered President Felipe Calderon, who nearly four years ago launched a military offensive against drug cartels that has claimed about 30,000 lives.

Still, any significant setback for drug trafficking or a halt to violence remains uncertain because commanders are readily replaced, and the demise of one leader often triggers an even bloodier power struggle.

After the fighting in Matamoros Tamaulipas, where the Mexican marines shot down Antonio Ezequiel Cardenas Guillen alias "Tony Tormenta," in the city of Nuevo Laredo "UNIDAD ZTAS" put up three "narcobanners."


In each of the "narcobanners" it read the followings:

"Once again it shows the fate of the traitors in the Gulf cartel (Las Golfas), who do not fit in anywhere, not even in hell, there they will find Los Zetas who went before us, to kill again. For all the traitors of the Gulf cartel bring out the school of the informant of Osiel, let's see where they go hide because they have nowhere to go, they are walking around in circles around the same frying pan ... Sincerely Unidad ZTAS"

I don't think we need to tell you what is going to happen next, , , ,



Soures: LA Times

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23 Borderland Beat Comments:

hasta la madre said...

Pues al menos este wey si se quedo en la raya. From what I hear this guy was a real badass, ni pex, el que sigue.

Anonymous said...

He's just another dead maggot punk now! Thank God. Make sure his associates join him soon!

Capo said...

This was double the number of Military they had against Las Barbas in Cuernavaca. I always thought that the Beltran-Leyvas were stronger than El Golfo in it's prime. I'm sure that Billboard helped out alot in his capture, it wasn't even up a week.

J said...

So, is Metro 3's death officially confirmed? Sounds like Tormenta had a strong following of soldiers, and guys who showed a lot of loyalty. I hope CDG realizes they need to come back strong, and not waste time with in fighting and inner conflict. Don't end up like Beltran Leyva.

Ovemex said...

The narco-mantas weren't just left in Nuevo Laredo. The same were left in Nuevo Leon (at least 5 different areas), Veracruz, and even Cancun.

Although TT was not THE Gulf Leader (Coss will still hold the Gulf reins) his death IS going to cause havoc, at least in Tamps and NL while the dust settles.

The Z's are already up and rearing (as per the narco-banners) and on the loose. Mty and surrounding areas had confrontations all night and into the morning hours..Reynosa even worse.

minor600 said...

whu gonna run c.d.g now

Anonymous said...

Pues al menos este wey si se quedo en la raya...


and


I hope CDG realizes they need to come back strong, and not waste time with in fighting and inner conflict. Don't end up like Beltran Leyva....

Can you dickride this dude any further? Mamalo.

Anonymous said...

Zetas started a gunfight with a cdg convoy, cdg returned fire and then the zetas fled calling in the mex military to take care of cdg. They have used this tactic more as they have become out manned/outgunned. The death of Tony will sure bring more terror to the region as zetas will attack with everything they have over the next days against cdg trying to take over the plaza. I believe that it's quite possible for Sinaloa to send people to reinforce cdg against the zetas. I'm sure that lazcano and 40 are hiding somewhere out of state calling the shots over a radio. I can't believe there are still idiots out there calling for the military to be taken off the streets. Now go get lazcano and 40.

Anonymous said...

upon reading the article it says they were notified of TT's location...who ripped him off? an informant?

Anonymous said...

The CDG and the ZETAS dispute control, so the government of Felipe Calderon backed the ZETAS by declaring a war on ZETAS' rivals, now Matamoros is on its way to becoming just like Juarez-THANKS A LOT MR. CALDERON, WE KNOW WHOSE SIDE YOU ARE ON!!!

Anonymous said...

This is a very interesting development on many fronts.Let's examine the casualties and what they mean.

4 CDG gunmen killed + Tony(officially)

1 Reporter killed(by the military according to account)

3 Marines hurt and 3 wounded.


Those don't like very good casualty figures for the Mexican military. It's interesting that the CDG is the only true cartel the Mexican and US government are taking head on.

Everything will change once the gunmen wise up and start shooting down the Mexican military helicopters with RPG's. Without the aircraft the Mexican military has very little advantage against the cartel gunmen. Both are badly trained and with somewhat low morale. Very interesting to see if they wise up and directly start attacking the Mexican military to get them to back off. The Mexican military cannot stand very high casualties without being withdrawn from fear of them losing credibility.

dddd said...

always the army helps the Z...they are in alliance it is clear

Anonymous said...

they are not in alliance with the military. the govt is in alliance with el chapo. im curious to know why gave up the coordinates to TT?

Anonymous said...

November 6, 2010 7:42 PM

First of all what is it with you and the whole black hawk down theories?? Seriously your an idiot. You watch to many movies. And second the mexican military is in large part trained by the United States so there goes your "badly trained" assumption. And third they wont back off because the plaza has brought to much attention and if TT wasn't able to escape on Sept. 17 he would of been killed then. The Mexican navy has step up operations in the region. So there goes your assumption on backing off.

@November 6, 2010 6:52 PM
@November 6, 2010 7:56 PM
@November 6, 2010 11:15 PM

Its funny how all of you always say that Calderon is favoring this cartel when their leader is killed. Calderon is not my favorite president but seriously why is it every time that someone is killed from this cartel or that cartel its the military/Calderon is supporting the other side or for el chapo?? And all of you say this without a single bit of proof?

In regards to the el Chapo/Calderon relation. Do you seriously think he would extradited el vicentillo, Zambada's own son? No. Or even bother to go after El nacho coronel? No. Even tho some of you say that he was orderd to be killed by el chapo which is bullshit. Why would el chapo kill one of his closest associates and then risk loosing Guadalajara like he's currently doing now, fighting for the control of his own plaza?? It makes no sense. And now with TT, why would Calderon kill another of Chapo's partner when TT is doing Chapo's dirty work trying to kill all of the Zetas, which chapo clearly hates. Especially since they killed his son.

At the time el mochomo was caught he was still in bed with el chapo, so there goes the theory that Calderon was working for el chapo. Even when the beltran split for the suppose betrayal, el mochomo tried to convince his brother Arturo, that he wasn't betrayed by el chapo but Arturo's huge cocaine addiction gave way to reason and decide to go to war. Even la barbie's declarations to federal police also say the same thing. Third, many of you ask then, why hasn't the Sinaloa Cartel been hit the hardest?? Well don't you think that the Sinaloa Cartel just maybe be, the lesser of all evils??

In juarez who has been attacking federal officers? la linea. Who has tortured and killed innocence ppl? la linea. Who has been extorting and kidnapping local business men? la linea, so you see who the government is going to be more focus on. And I could keep going.

But seriously folks, stop ranting about Calderon supporting this and that, when you have no evidence, and second all the cartels are garbage which need to be wiped out.

J said...

Is it a known thing that Arturo Beltran was a heavy cocaine abuser? And it influenced some of his decisions? That's pretty interesting.

Anonymous said...

The BB posters who battle each other over about which cartel the Mexican government is supposedly favoring over the other are a particularly pathetic lot. Who really cares, Gangbangers?

The government and its military themselves are just a US government/ Pentagon organized gang, and the biggest one screwing the Mexican people around. Criminality comes from criminality here.

Ernest1

Anonymous said...

It's true Arturo Beltran was a heavy cocainer user...Use to go thru several " washed " pure ounces a week just by himself... That's why he was known as one of the craziest SOB's around. He use to feed his enemies to his own personnel pets of tigers and lions in a house he had in Mexico. Crazy SOB....

Anonymous said...

@ ernest 1 ..these cartels are not just " gangbangers"...you are thinking with an american brain

J said...

Arturo liked lavara huh? Funny. How do you know this, if you don't mind the question? He seemed to be really emotional, slightly unstable guy from what I know/learned about him. And La Barbie mentioned his drug binges too. Speaking of the subject, I'd love to see a story on drug use among the narcos, from the bosses, mid level, to the shooters.

Anonymous said...

It is OBVIOUS who is being favored by Calderon and/or his office. THE PROOF IS OUT IN THE OPEN. Some would rather just not see it, or rather accept it, but the events prove it.

Anonymous said...

'Thinking with an american brain'?

'@ ernest 1 ..these cartels are not just " gangbangers"...you are thinking with an american brain'

Really? Where do you think that cartels most often get their most hard core recruits from then? Let's give the example of Medellin in Colombia, where street gangs have been all over the place and provided the raw recruits often times for Right Wing death squads, drug cartels, etc. Same in Cali.

Same throughout Central America. Same in Mexico, also. Gangs in American and Latin American prisons have fed gangs in neighborhoods and cartels and traffickers in all the countries of Latin America.

You accuse me of thinking with a US brain but some of the Mexican 'brains' posting here at times, out of daddy's house, are not all that thoughtful themselves, Oh Anonymous One.

Ernest1

Capo said...

Es "de la LAVADA" I am doing a few right now. lol

Anonymous said...

so are they hiring?

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